Bring your Backpacking gear if you plan to camp or a day pack if you are planning a day excursion. The Red River Gorge is a very rugged area in Eastern KY. Any time of the year you visit, you should bring your hiking boots and sandals as well as your rock climbing gear (trad and sport).
If you are visiting in the spring/summer, bring along shorts, t-shirts and regular camping attire as well as a light jacket/sweater, and some long pants (it can get cool at night).
In fall/winter, you should pack for winter conditions (winter coat, long underwear, gloves, scarves, sweaters, hats, etc...). It can snow any time from late October to mid-April. But it can also be rather warm during the fall/winter months, so bring along some warmer weather attire as well. Bring a first aid kit and tiolet paper. There are some public latrines, but if you are in a more isolated area, they may not be convenient to get to.
In spring through fall, you should bring bug spray and sunscreen, as well as citronela candles or mosquito coils. Bring your camera and a tripod and plenty of film. There are gas stations/convenience stores along the main highway, but they tend to be more expensive than places in the city (Lexington).
You can also bring your video camera, but mak sure you have everything you need, since there aren't really too many places to recharge batteries. Bring all your standard camping equipment. There are mostly primitive camping areas, but there are some with restroom facilities and running water. Plan on not having access to electricity unless oyu are staying in a hotel/motel or inn of some kind.
A Wonderful Area for Hikers
Sixty miles of hiking trails criss-cross the Red River Gorge, including a section of the 278-mile-long Sheltowee Trace, a National Recreation Trail which traverses the entire length of the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Trails within the Gorge lead to many of the geological formations, and also provide the hiker with a chance to see wildlife such as whitetail dear, wild turkey and black bear.
Trails within the Red River Gorge have been designated National Recreation Trails and are open for hiking only. Mountain bikes and all motorized vehicles are prohibited; horses are permitted on designated trails. A comfortable and sturdy pair of walking shoes or hiking boots.
Natural Bridge & Red River Gorge
So after moving to Winchester, KY last year--I found that I was only a mere 30 minutes away from Natural Bridge & The Red River Gorge. It is a nice day trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The first thing we wanted to do was get some food, as I get quite tired of the many chain restaurants in my area.
So we made our first stop at Miguel's Pizza. I did not LOVE the pizza that I had but I am glad that I stopped here, its very inexpensive, a nice location, really neat looking and the owners seem to know everything there is to know about the area. You can also pick up some supplies that you might need along the way.
"The Sky Lift"
We made our second stop at the Natural Bridge, we decided to take the sky lift up since we haven't hiked in awhile. It is a 22 minute round trip ride. It costs $8 per person to take the lift up and back down, or $5 one way. There is a nice lil gift shop on the premises to pick up all of your great souvenirs. The ride down the mountain is very steep so be careful and don't swing the lifts and be sure and hold on.
"We made it!"
The Bridge is wide so you don't have to fear walking across it, although i would not recommend getting to close to the edge. If you walk to the other side of the mountain there is a great photo opportunity to take pics of the bridge.
Red River Gorge Gelogoical Area
Slade is a small town about 54 miles southeast of Lexington, Kentucky via I-64 and the Mountain Parkway. There's not much to the town: two service stations, a couple of churches, and a handful of shops which cater to the half-million plus tourists who visit here every year. Slade sits between the Natural Bridge State Resort Park and the Red River Gorge. We have built a seperate set of pages for the State Park. Here we will give you a glimpse of the Red River Gorge - an amazing geological area which is a magnet to rock climbers, hikers, kayakers, and sightseers. Red River Gorge is best known for its more than 100 natural stone arches, the largest concentration of such geological formations east of the Rocky Mountains.
A loop drive through the Gorge will take a minimum of two hours, but you will need at least half a day to hike to even a few of the natural arches and overlooks. The drive follows Ky-15 about 1 1/2 miles north of Slade to KY-77. After about four miles turn right on KY-175, and that will eventually lead you back to KY-15 south of Slade. The road is narrow and very winding. One-lane gravel side roads lead to some of the points of interest.